Lucien Sève

Last updated

Lucien Sève
Born(1926-12-09)9 December 1926
Chambéry, Savoie, France
Died23 March 2020(2020-03-23) (aged 93)
Alma mater École normale supérieure
Notable work
Marxisme et théorie de la personnalité (1969)
Penser avec Marx aujourd’hui (2004–2019)

Lucien Sève ( [ly.sjɛ̃ sɛv] ; 9 December 1926 – 23 March 2020) was a French philosopher, communist and political activist. He was an active member of the French Communist Party from 1950 to 2010. His 1969 work Marxisme et théorie de la personnalité (Marxism and theory of personality) has been translated into 25 different languages. Sève died on 23 March 2020 of COVID-19.

Contents

Family, career and death

Sève was born in 1926 in Chambéry. [1] His parents ran a publishing house for children's books. [2] He studied at the Lycée de Chambéry, and the Lycée du Parc. [2] Sève entered the École normale supérieure in 1945, [3] where he earned agrégation of philosophy in 1949. [4] He became a philosophy teacher at a lycée in Brussels, [2] although he was later removed from the post due to his Marxist beliefs. [5] Sève performed military service in Algeria, [6] from 1952 to 1953. [7] After his military service, he worked at the Lycée Saint-Charles in Marseille. [7]

In 1952, Sève married Françoise Guille in Gap, Hautes-Alpes, and they had two children. [2] Guille died in 2011. [1] Sève died on 23 March 2020 of COVID-19 at the age of 93. [2] [8]

Political life

Sève was an avid Politzerian. [9] He supported the views of fellow French Marxist philosophers Louis Althusser and Roger Garaudy, arguing that the PCF should follow some humanist aspects of the Marxist philosophy. [10] [11] However, Sève also focused on a scientific, rather than a purely humanist or non-humanist, basis for Marxism, something that was different from most Western European Marxist ideas of the time. Most Western Communist parties, including the French Communist Party, were moving towards social democracy. [10] [11] [12] He also focused upon the relationship between Marxism and psychology. [13] He supported a Communist regime where the Communist Party was the dominant force, and as such his views have been compared to Joseph Stalin's USSR. [11] Nevertheless, after the death of Stalin, Sève supported the De-Stalinization of the USSR. [6] In the 1980s, Sève supported the creation of the medical ethics committee Comité consultatif national d'éthique (CCNE). [14] :138 He was a member of the CCNE committee from 1983 to 2000. [14] :53 [15] He was a supporter of embryo testing, but only from excess IVF embryos. He saw embryos as "the potential of a human being", so considered using them solely for testing as unethical. [14] :54,138 Sève also had very strong opinions on how a Marxist biography should be written. His works included very specific, albeit almost unachievable, criteria that he believed should be adhered to for all Marxist biographies. [16] He was a founding member of the Grande Édition de Marx et d'Engels  [ fr ] project, which aimed to translate and republish all of Marx's and Friedrich Engels' works. [15] In 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sève gave an interview in which he said that Communism is relevant today, and that Karl Marx was centuries ahead of his time. [17]

In 1950, Sève joined the French Communist Party (PCF). [2] He was elected as a member of the Central Committee in 1961, [18] and stayed elected until 1994. [5] From 1970 to 1982, he ran the PCF publishing house. [7] He was appointed because members of the PCF considered him one of the best intellectuals in the party. [19] In 1970, he attended a panel discussion organised by Catherine Clément, which also included Serge Leclaire and André Green. [9] During the 1980s, Sève began to distance himself from the PCF, [18] after disagreements with the political leaders. [5] In 1984, he proposed a refounding of the PCF, arguing that the party had lost its way. [5] Sève withdrew from the party in 2010, citing a lack of political support for the party at the 2007 French presidential election and 2010 French regional elections, [8] [5] as well as a distaste for the younger movement of the party. [20]

Works

In 1969, he authored the work Marxisme et théorie de la personnalité (Marxism and theory of personality). [21] [22] The work has been translated into 25 different languages. [12] His 1978 work Man in Marxist theory and the psychology of personality focused on how personality was a "product of social relations". This strongly opposed Hans Eysenck's view that personality was a mixture of genetics and learned behaviours. [23] In 1990, he authored Communisme : quel second souffle? (Communism: what a second wind?), and from 2004 to 2019, he worked on four volumes of Penser avec Marx aujourd’hui (Thinking with Marx today.) [1] [22] [5] The works aimed to highlight Sève's perceived problems with people's interpretation of Marxism, including Stalinism, ideological mistreatment by Luc Ferry, and theories from Louis Althusser and Gilles Deleuze that Sève believed incompatible with Marxism. [24] The first of the four volumes was entitled Marx et nous (Marx and us), and the second volume, published in 2008, was entitled L’homme? (The Person). [15] In 2008, he was awarded a prize by the Union rationaliste  [ fr ]. [25]

List

Source: [12]

Related Research Articles

Louis Althusser French philosopher

Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École normale supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy.

French Communist Party left-wing political party in France which advocates the principles of communism

The French Communist Party is a communist party in France.

Marxist–Leninist Party of Quebec political party

The Marxist–Leninist Party of Quebec is a Marxist–Leninist and separatist political party in Quebec, Canada. The PMLQ is the Quebec branch of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist). It has run candidates in Quebec general elections in 1973, 1981 and since 1989 under various names: Parti communiste du Québec (marxiste-léniniste), Parti marxiste-léniniste (Québec) and Parti marxiste-léniniste du Québec.

Henri Lefebvre French philosopher

Henri Lefebvre was a French Marxist philosopher and sociologist, best known for pioneering the critique of everyday life, for introducing the concepts of the right to the city and the production of social space, and for his work on dialectics, alienation, and criticism of Stalinism, existentialism, and structuralism. In his prolific career, Lefebvre wrote more than sixty books and three hundred articles. He founded or took part in the founding of several intellectual and academic journals such as Philosophies, La Revue Marxiste, Arguments, Socialisme et Barbarie, Espaces et Sociétés.

Paul Nizan French philosopher, politician, writer

Paul-Yves Nizan was a French philosopher and writer.

Pole of Communist Revival in France

The Pole of Communist Revival in France is a French political party founded in January 2004. It was an internal tendency of the French Communist Party (PCF) that left the party, rejecting the PCF's "mutation" beginning in the early 1990s.

The Communist Party of Réunion is a Communist political party in the French overseas department of Réunion.

Trần Đức Thảo was a Vietnamese philosopher. His work attempted to unite phenomenology with Marxist philosophy. His work had some currency in France in the 1950s and 1960s, and was cited favorably by Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Louis Althusser.

Costanzo Preve Italian philosopher

Costanzo Preve was an Italian philosopher and a political theoretician.

Communism is a philosophical, social, political, economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money and the state.

Jean Suret-Canale French historian

Jean Suret-Canale was a French historian of Africa, Marxist theoritican, political activist, and World War II French Resistance fighter.

The Union of Communist Students is a French student political organization, part of the Mouvement Jeunes Communistes de France. It was founded in 1939 but dissolved after World War II. The UEC was re-created in 1956, along with the MJCF. It is independent from the French Communist Party (PCF) although it remains close to it. It maintains exchange contacts with the PCF, in particular on student issues. The UEC is organized in sectors, by university, and is led by a national collective elected during the congress of the MJCF and renewed during the National Assemblies of the facilitators, every year. A national coordination runs the organization, led by its national secretary : Antoine Guerreiro.

Guy Besse was a French philosopher and politician, a member of the executive of the French Communist Party (PCF).

The Democratic Communist Circle was a left-wing, political group founded by Boris Souvarine in February 1926 under the original name of the cercle communiste Marx et Lénine.

Ernest Mandel Belgian economist and Marxist philosopher

Ernest Ezra Mandel, was a Belgian Marxian economist and a Trotskyist activist and theorist. He fought in the underground resistance against the Nazis during the occupation of Belgium.

The New Haitian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Haiti. It was founded in 2000. In a statement regarding the party's ideological foundation, the NPCH(ML) refers to the theory and practice of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Henri Cueco French writer

Henri Cueco was a French painter, essayist, novelist and radio personality. As a self-taught painter, his work was exhibited internationally. He was the author of several books, including collections of essays and novels. He was also a contributor to France Culture. A communist-turned-libertarian, he was a co-founder of Coopérative des Malassis, an anti-consumerist artists' collective. He was best known for The Red Men, a series of figurative paintings depicting aspects of the Cold War like the May 1968 events, the Vietnam War and Red Scare, and his 150 still lifes, or "portraits," of potatoes.

André Tosel was a French Marxist philosopher and academic administrator. He taught Philosophy at the University of Franche-Comté and Pantheon-Sorbonne University until he became a full professor of Philosophy at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He served as its vice president from 1992 to 1998, and as the director of its Center for the History of Ideas from 1998 to 2003. He was the author of several books about Marxism and Marxist theorists.

The Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) of Belgium was a political party in Belgium.

The Communist Revolutionary Party of France is a Marxist-Leninist communist party founded in 2016. It was the result of a merger of Intervention Communiste and the Union Révolutionaire Communistes de France (URCF).

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Penser l'aujourd'hui, avec Lucien Sève". Gauchebdo (in French). 14 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "SÈVE Lucien". maitron.fr (in French). 23 March 2020.
  3. , sur archicubes.ens.fr
  4. , sur rhe.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Le philosophe marxiste Lucien Sève est mort". Libres Hebdo (in French). 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  6. 1 2 "Lucien Sève : mort d'un grand philosophe marxiste". Regards (in French). 23 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  7. 1 2 3 Vincent, Clara (25 March 2020). "Décès du philosophe Lucien Sève". ActuaLitté  [ fr ] (in French). Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  8. 1 2 Pierre Chaillan (23 March 2020). "Disparition. Lucien Sève s'est éteint". humanite.fr (in French).
  9. 1 2 Roudinesco, Elisabeth (1990). Jacques Lacan & Co: A History of Psychoanalysis in France, 1925–1985. University of Chicago Press. p. 534.
  10. 1 2 Shame, Carl (Spring 1981). "The Scientific Humanism of Lucien Sève" . Science & Society . 45 via JSTOR.
  11. 1 2 3 O'Donnell, Paddy (8 November 2007). "Lucien Sève, Althusser and the contradictions of the PCF" . Taylor & Francis . Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  12. 1 2 3 Elhammoumi, M. (2012). "Sève, Lucien". Rieber R.W. (eds) Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories. Springer Publishing . Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  13. Kupers, Terry (Spring 1973). "Review: Historical Materialism and Scientific Psychology" . Science & Society . 37: 81–90. Retrieved 25 March 2020 via JSTOR.
  14. 1 2 3 Banchoff, Thomas (July 2011). Embryo Politics: Ethics and Policy in Atlantic Democracies. Cornell University Press.
  15. 1 2 3 Prost, Laurent (2009). "Entretien avec Lucien Sève". Le Philosophoire  [ fr ] (in French) (32): 27–40 via Cairn.info.
  16. Roche, Julian (19 September 2018). "Can Biography Benefit from a Marxist Theory of Individuality? Lucien Sève's Contribution to Biographical Theory and Practice" . A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. 2018 (2): 291–306. Retrieved 25 March 2020 via Taylor & Francis.
  17. Chaillon, Pierre (23 March 2020). "DISPARITION. LUCIEN SÈVE S'EST ÉTEINT". L'Humanité . Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  18. 1 2 "Lucien Sève, figure du PCF, est mort du coronavirus". Orange S.A. (in French). 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  19. Hazareesingh, Sudhir (1991). Intellectuals and the French Communist Party: Disillusion and Decline. Clarendon Press. p. 156.
  20. "La Jeunesse communiste défie les "Archaïsants" du Parti Communiste Français" (in French). French Communist Party. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  21. "Coronavirus: Lucien Sève, figure du parti communiste, est mort". Agence France-Presse (in French). 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020 via 20 minutes .
  22. 1 2 Mestre, Abel (24 March 2020). "La mort du philosophe marxiste Lucien Sève". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  23. Richards, Graham (2002). Putting Psychology in Its Place: A Critical Historical Overview. Psychology Press. p. 145.
  24. Dion, Jacques (January 2005). "Penser avec Marx aujourd'hui". Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  25. "Remise du prix de l'Union rationaliste 2008 à Lucien Sève" (in French). Union rationaliste  [ fr ]. 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2020.